Rochester, Minnesota’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, known as Experience Rochester (Corporation) was recently reimagined and redefined into a convention and visitors corporation, responsible for all destination marketing and management efforts; and the sales, marketing and management of the Mayo Convention & Civic Center (MCC). Over the last year, the City has worked with the Corporation to transition to this new model and has put in place a new Board of Directors, President, management company (ASM Global) and food and beverage provider (Spectra). This new, more comprehensive destination management organization began its first full year of operations on January 1, 2020. Under the guidance of the Board of Directors and the President, Experience Rochester is seeking to fill the Vice President of Marketing and Communications role.
Summary of Position:
The Vice President of Marketing and Communications is responsible for advertising, promotions, creative, media buying, communications and public relations, events and partnerships, along with building and managing the marketing and communications department of the Corporation. The Vice President of Marketing and Communications will support the President and be part of the executive leadership team within the Corporation.
The Vice President of Marketing and Communications is the primary management contact for our marketing partners and an expert in destination marketing. The qualified candidate brings a strategic lens to marketing, communications, branding and creative skills and high-touch customer service experience, along with a desire to mentor, coach and train. The qualified candidate will be able to connect the dots of the Corporation’s different teams and responsibilities to deliver content and messaging that furthers the organization’s mission.
Impact of COVID-19 Pandemic:
Like most destinations, our budgetary resources have been impacted significantly by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, thankfully, as the home of the Mayo Clinic, Rochester has not been as adversely affected as many other destinations due to the quick return of visiting patients. During this time of crisis for our community and our industry, Experience Rochester is committed to continuing to invest in our critical work as the convener and collaborator for all aspects of destination marketing, management and the visitor experience; as well as serving as an engine for sales efforts and on-going management of the convention center.
During the pandemic and the corresponding lack of group events, the corporation has pivoted to serving our local community more directly as a founding member of the Rochester Ready recovery initiative and opening the doors of the convention center as a 24-hour shelter for disadvantaged in the community from March-July. With the shelter program concluded, in partnership with six community service organizations, a portion of the convention center will temporarily be in use as a distance learning facility, supporting the children and families of Rochester.
Duties and Responsibilities:
Collaborate with the Corporation’s executive leadership, key stakeholders and respective staff discipline owners to formulate the annual business and marketing plan to maximize the budget available.
Ensure Marketing and Sales strategies are aligned and integrated.
Provide planning and leadership to the Marketing and Communications Department by ensuring that the appropriate structures, systems, competencies, values and measurements are developed and established in order to meet and exceed the marketing plan
Develop and implement an integrated strategic content and communications plan to advance the Corporation’s identity; broaden awareness of its programs and priorities; and increase the visibility of its programs across key audiences
Provide strategic support across the Corporation, with specific focus on the sales effort, to convert group business into the MCC and partner hotels
Demonstrate and communicate a thorough knowledge of product information: marketing initiatives, market research, brand strategy, media, challenges and opportunities (industry and competitive) that will influence the brand including the connection to the Mayo Clinic and healthcare’s impact on the destination brand.
Create marketing/public relations strategy that will allow the Corporation’s leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media, key influencers and partner organizations.
Develop and manage annual media relations budget as it pertains to local, regional, national and international media outreach initiatives including media familiarization tours, media missions and additional media outreach opportunities.
Work in conjunction with local stakeholders including hotels, attractions, restaurants, stores, civic and service organizations and others regarding media familiarization tours and media missions.
Develop and implement the annual marketing plan and budget which includes strategies for branding, print and online advertising, eCommerce initiatives, website and mobile development, public relations, publications, collateral materials, direct mail campaigns, social media and program design
Work with partner organizations on continued development of the When in Rochester APP
Oversee development of creative materials, advertisements, media buying, promotions, website, booking engine, SEO, SEM, CRM and social media systems and solutions
Work in partnership with agency(ies) as needed to identify potential new opportunities and develop plans and action steps to be instituted, managed and measured
Act as liaison with media and local government agencies on behalf of Corporation and its partners as needed
Build cohesive marketing and communications team, balancing need and current budgetary constraints
Clearly set expectations for all direct reports. Evaluate performance based upon expectations providing regular coaching and feedback
Conduct timely performance appraisals of all direct reports to encourage, motivate and improve staff production and ensure consistency
Develop and lead a team that will cultivate and execute new concepts, channels and partnerships to position organization as an innovative leader in the tourism industry
Analyze campaign results and market trends and recommend changes to strategies based on analysis and feedback. Take calculated risks based on data-driven analytics
Have daily, in-person interactions with members of marketing staff to provide direction, mentor and coach to ensure that marketing goals are achieved
Prepare and present reports
Exhibit a thorough knowledge of processes and ensure compliance with all standard policies and procedures
Along with organization’s President, serve as a partner with Rochester Ready, a community-wide COVID-19 recovery and resiliency effort
Integral contributor to the destination’s Experience development efforts
Together with corporation’s President, serve as key liaison with Destination Medical Center, economic development initiative
Travel as needed
Visionary and strategic thinker who acts with the future in mind and proactively pursues creative approaches to strengthen and grow the organization’s body of work and overall effectiveness
Proven track record of developing and implementing successful strategic marketing plans, ideally in the tourism space
Strong and clear communicator able to prepare plans and disseminate messaging out to peers, team members, media and partners as needed with tailored messaging to respective audiences
Strong leader committed to ensuring team members have inspiring individual and team goals and clear performance objectives, and who can provide the feedback, coaching and support to help them succeed.
Team player with a high level of emotional intelligence who is committed to fostering an environment of cohesion, collaboration and healthy working relationships
Exceptional relationship building and customer service skills; uses proactive and responsive approach to develop and maintain strong networks and partnerships
Compelling communicator (written, verbal and presentation) who is able to articulately, accurately and confidently inform, influence and lead others including industry stakeholders and partners
Sound problem solver and decision maker; uses good judgment to determine how and where to best engage others in processes
Bachelor of Arts degree in communications, marketing, business or related field preferred
5-7 years of marketing and communications strategy experience in a senior management capacity
Experience managing agency relationships
Familiar with current technology, including Microsoft Office suite and social media tools
Ability to effectively manage time and work independently with minimal supervision
Able to travel and work varied hours, including evenings and weekends, as needed
Interested Candidates should forward resume and letter of interest to:
Strategic Advisory & Asset Management
JLL | Hotels & Hospitality Group
Employer will assist with relocation costs.
Additional Salary Information: Compensation package to be industry competitive and tailored to reflect experience and accomplishments.
About Experience Rochester, Minnesota
Rochester’s Minnesota Convention and Visitors Bureau, known as Experience Rochester was recently re-imagined and redefined into a convention and visitors corporation, responsible for the sales, marketing and management of the Mayo Civic and Convention Center (MCC), as well as group sales and marketing for the entire destination.